Epistles of Faith
William Huntington (1745-1813)
TO THE REV. MR. HUNTINGTON, PADDINGTON.
I HOPE you will excuse my not thanking you sooner for your, kind letter; but it was not in my power. I now humbly thank you. It came in due time, when I stood much in need of consolation; and I found it powerful. I thank you, sir, in Christ's name, for your prayers, advice, and comfort, and kind offers of assistance, and for permitting me to write to you. I thank the Lord, for the present I am tolerably well situated; though, in the winter, I shall not be able to come to the chapel only on the Lord's day. This is a great trouble to me; but I have left it to God, and begged submission to his will, and am enabled to trust and look to him to fix my bounds and direct my steps; and, as I have food and raiment, I hope to be therewith content, as God knows I have known the want of both; and the Lord has wonderfully upheld me and brought me through, and I trust he will accomplish the good work that he has begun in my soul, and then all will be well: for I well remember a certain passage coming with power to my mind when I first sought the Lord, and when I was in very great distress, both spiritually and temporally. When every door seemed to be shut, and help, I thought, could arise from no quarter, these words came; "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and leis righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." And, blessed be the name of the Lord, I have found it so: if not entirely fulfilled, it is in part, for I begin to recover in circumstances as I increase in faith. But faith is the Lord's work; for I find I can do nothing of myself: and this I humbly beg of Christ, that he will carry on the work of faith with power. I have great reason to be grateful; for God has done great things for me indeed. I am under great obligations, also, to M. C. in Margaret-street, as she was, under Christ, the means of bringing me to seek the Lord; and, when I was in great distress, relieved me, and proved herself a Christian indeed; for we were but strangers. And much I thank you, Sir, for your kindness; may God repay you with every good thing! How different when I want to the popish priests, who knew me, and my family, from a child; and had received many favours from my father, and had known me in very different circumstances! They told me they could do nothing for me; that they had not seen me at confession, nor at sacraments, for solve time; and, therefore, could do nothing for me. This was true; for I had been seeking the Lord, amt began to see through all their abominations, even before God had visited me with soul distress: for, since the first time I heard you preach, I never went but once; and then I could not join with them in prayer, nor have ever once since thought of any of their prayers, or saints, but with horror; and, I trust in Jesus Christ, I never shall, as I am well convinced of all their hypocrisy, for, when I was in France, I saw how they blinded the people, and led them into all manner of error, and prohibited their reading the word of God. And when I reflect how the Lord hath brought me out of darkness into the glorious light of the gospel, it fills my heart with gratitude and love that such a work should be done for such a wretch as me! But I find, as you beautifully observe, that the Lord will have mercy an whom he swill have mercy; and that, if' he did not first choose us, we never should choose him: and yet I am sometimes sadly distressed; but I thank the Lord I am much happier than when I first wrote to you. I have found several of my prayers have been answered, such as the Lord has enabled me to put up, and I hope in time, the Lord will clear all my doubts. And, oh! my God, may I never be one of those that come near to thy kingdom, and after all are shut out! as you observed from your text last Lord's day; "Thou art not far from the kingdom of God." Pray, dear sir, for me, that I may be clothed with Christ's righteousness, and may not be found wanting.
Pardon me, Sir, if there is any thing in this letter that offends; and likewise for intruding so much on your time, as I know you have much to do. And, if it be God's blessed will, may you be long kept preaching for the edification of souls like mine, and the benefit of all your hearers; which is the sincere wish and prayer of,Dear Sir,
Your much obliged,
And grateful daughter in Christ,